As in previous years, The Mercure Abbots Hotel was the host venue for Dee 106.3’s community orientated Local Heroes awards. The awards recognise the work of individuals and organisations in the community and as usual the double act of Gavin and Irene compered the night.
- Business of the year went to Enbarr Enterprises Limited. The Deeside based organisation was set up to help locals gain training, confidence and employment support. Enbarr were praised for supporting vulnerable members of the community including the homeless and for rehabilitating ex members of the armed forces.
- The Eco award went to Just Footprints, Chester’s first zero waste shop which opened in the Forum in late 2018. (See https://thechesterblog.com/2018/11/24/just-footprints/ ) Owner Debbie Groom was nominated by her husband, with the couple aiming to open a second store in the future.
- Sportsperson of the year went to Thomas Evans. Thomas was recognised for his martial arts work , running self defence classes in local schools, churches and other groups across Flintshire. He gave a moving acceptance speech in support of his wife and described how he had witnessed people grow and change through martial arts.
- Pupil of the Year went to 9 year old Ava Smith. Ava was recognised for her charitable work including singing for Chester Aid to the Homeless over Christmas and also helping to raise £600 for British Heart Foundation.
- Teacher of the Year went to Gemma Cook who was “shocked and overwhelmed” by her award. She commented that “These children inspired me to do the job that I do. I work in the most beautiful school and with the most amazing children”. Host Gavin Matthews commented that “We can always remember a teacher who made a difference when we were younger.”
- Young Achiever of the Year went to Eleanor Farr. Recently a Miss England finalist, Eleanor overcame severe arthritis which developed during her university years.
- Parent of the Year went to Darren Ledsham. Darren’s son was diagnosed with Leukaemia in January 2018 and stayed by his son’s side throughout his treatment. Darren is a fundraiser for children’s cancer charities and spoke about the need for improved child cancer treatments and research. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dazandlee
- Carer of the Year went to Steven Dobson who gave up his career as a taxi driver to be a full time carer for his wife.
- Act of Courage went to young Sasha Faye for her bravery after an accident resulted in her needing skin grafts and suffering from numerous health problems including PTSD. Sasha spoke of her passion for dancing which has helped her recovery.
- Volunteer of the year went to Donna Smith for her fundraising work , Carnival organising and a variety of sponsored events all helping people with long term conditions in need of support.
- Child of Courage went to Alfie Watts. Alfie was hospitalised after being hit by car. In a coma he endured 2 operations but has now made a recovery and has learnt to walk against after his ordeal. His mother paid and emotional tribute to her son with a message for us all saying, “you’ve got to live every day like its your last.”
With thanks to Gavin Matthews and the Dee106.3 team.